Euro Manganese Inc.


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Investment Memo: Euro Manganese Inc. (ASX:EMN) - LIVE

Opened: 17-Jun-2022

Shares Held at Open: 1,733,000

What does EMN do?

Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) is developing a High Purity Manganese project in the European Union (Czech Republic) through the recycling of a tailings resource from a historical mine site.

What is the macro theme?

Manganese is a key input for EV batteries and European nations are adopting pro EV policies with the ultimate aim of phasing out fossil fuel powered vehicles by 2035.

The EU region currently accounts for ~45% of all EV sales. With the size of the global EV fleet expected to grow from 11 million now to ~145 million in 2030, we expect domestic demand for battery metals like manganese to increase exponentially.

Why did we invest in EMN?

Unique exposure to High Purity Manganese

Increasing demand is not being met with increasing supply because the demand outlook is less clear in the short-term. However we have made our investment ahead of time, anticipating exponentially higher demand in the future. EMN has five MOU's signed to supply customers with product as part of the supply-chain qualification process. These, if successful, could form the basis for long-term off-take agreements.

Strategically located in Europe

EMN is strategically located in the heart of Europe, where over 25 EV plants and 30 battery plants will soon be operating. High Purity Manganese is a key raw-material in their supply chain. With VW and Daimler committing to EUR$34/EUR$60B+ in investments over the next 5-10 years into their battery metals supply-chain, EMN may benefit from the increased domestic demand.

New CEO - Appointed in December 2021

We are looking forward to what Dr. Matthew James can accomplish for EMN in 2022/2023. Dr. James is particularly skilled at getting major mining projects operational having helped Lynas raise over A$1 billion of equity and debt funding between 2002 and 2011.

What do we expect EMN to deliver?

Objective #1: Construction of the Demonstration Plant

EMN has designed a Demonstration Plant to produce large-scale samples of High Purity Manganese products. The plant will enable the company to show potential off-take partners they have production capabilities & a commercially viable product. Commissioning of the plant is now expected in September 2022.


Receive final shipment of Demonstration Plant Parts (July 2022)

Commission Demonstration Plant (September 2022)

First delivery of samples to customers (Q4 2022)

Objective #2: Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS)

The DFS will give an updated look at EMN's project economics & assist with the financing process going into a final investment decision. Expected in the second half of 2022.


Delivery of Definitive Feasibility Study (late Q2 - early Q3 2022)

Objective #3: First Offtake Partner

Large scale samples of High Purity Manganese need to be assessed for quality by end users who then sign an offtake agreement for future supply - an offtake agreement would be a major achievement for EMN in 2022.


First offtake partner (Q3 2022?)

Bonus: second offtake partner (Q1-Q2 2023?)

Objective #4: Early Progress on Project Financing

With a new CEO at EMN that is skilled in financing resource development projects, it would be a win to see some early progress on 2023 financing goals come from these offtake agreements.


New institutional investor/further institutional investment

Debt or equity financing agreement

What could go wrong?

Product risk

EMN’s Demonstration Plant is unable to produce qualified, commercially viable High-Purity Manganese products that are of interest to potential customers.

Development risk

Tailings recycling projects inherently have a lower-grade ore versus conventional deposits, which can impact the project’s economics, sometimes making it non-viable to operate a tailings mine. Additionally, development of the project also hinges on successful processing of manganese tailings and scaling that operation to produce economic quantities of the product.

Regulatory / permitting risks

Every mine needs a social licence to operate and there are risks associated with any new mining development.

Market risk

There’s a risk that manganese prices decrease and a tailings resource is not seen as attractive to investors, or there is a general market collapse/financial crisis.

Financing risk

Due to a combination of any or all of the above risks, financing for the project is hard to come by or unavailable, and the project does not become operational.

What is our investment plan?

We invested in EMN at 6.5¢, 20¢ and 60¢. We have held EMN shares for over 21 months now and have free carried and taken some profit. We continue to hold 1,733,000 shares of EMN.

We are very interested to see if the new CEO can increase the pace at which the 2022/2023 objectives are achieved.

During the next 12 months if some of the key objectives are achieved and the share price re-rates we will aim to sell about 20% of our position to take some profit. Our long term aim is to hold a position into first production in 2025.

Disclosure: The authors of this article and owners of Next Investors, S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and associated entities, own 1,733,000 EMN shares at the time of publication. S3 Consortium Pty Ltd has been engaged by EMN to share our commentary on the progress of our investment in EMN over time.

Investment Milestones for EMN

✅ Initial Investment: @6.5c
✅ Top Slice
✅ Free Carry
✅ Increase Investment: @20c
✅ Free Carry
✅ Increase Investment: @60c
✅ Free Carry
✅ Increase Investment: @60c
✅ Free Carry
✅ Take Profit

Price increases 300% from initial entry
Price increases 500% from initial entry
Price increases 1000% from initial entry
12 Month Capital Gain Discount
🔲 Hold remaining Position for next 2+ years

Our Past Commentary on Euro Manganese Inc.

Date Title
12-Jan-2023 $ EMN signs offtake term sheet with French battery maker to supply Renault
07-Dec-2022 $ EMN Update - We Have a Demo Plant. Now for Offtake Deals
08-Aug-2022 $ 0.400 Why do small-caps take so long to execute?
05-Aug-2022 $ EMN DFS delivers US$1.34 billion post-tax Net Present Value
12-Feb-2022 $ 0.500 Energy Transition Metals, Raw Materials, McKinsey, Supply and Demand Economics
05-Feb-2022 $ 0.470 The "Lesser Kown" Energy Transition Metals: Copper, Aluminium, Graphite, Helium, Rare Earths
08-Jan-2022 $ 0.550 Early-year trading indicates market is set for an up-and-down year
05-Jan-2022 $ New Year, New Strategic Investor and New CEO for EMN
06-Nov-2021 $ 0.560 COP26, Battery Metals, Green Energy
09-Oct-2021 $ 0.480 Investing 101: Key lessons for small cap investors
05-Oct-2021 $ 0.525 EMN Enters Joint Development Agreement with Battery Tech Developer Nano One
24-Jul-2021 $ 0.665 Why stocks go into "Quiet Execution Mode", how to spot a cap raise, stock "Confession Season"
22-Jul-2021 $ EMN successfully secures government permits - while other ASX battery metals aspirants hit hurdles.
17-Jul-2021 $ 0.635 Cash is King, Gold Stocks and Enough of VUL and EMN
16-Jul-2021 $ 0.615 VUL and EMN: Key takeaways out of Europe this week
13-Jul-2021 $ 0.585 Two more key events coming out of Europe in the next 48 hours...
10-Jul-2021 $ 0.560 Breaking News: Stellantis signs offtake MoU with VUL
09-Jul-2021 $ 0.560 Stellantis EV Day: Mystery European Geothermal Lithium MoU & Manganese to be used in all batteries
08-Jul-2021 $ 0.520 Move over Musk. Yet Another Auto giant to reveal Electric strategy tonight at 11:30pm AEST
03-Jul-2021 $ 0.540 End of Financial Year, and what happened to 88E's share price?
19-Jun-2021 $ 0.530 What is Tax Loss Selling?
16-Jun-2021 $ 0.580 Last night VW announced it wants to secure battery metals directly from miners...
11-Jun-2021 $ G7 Summit: Countries to Switch To Electric Vehicles
29-May-2021 $ 0.520 Green Hydrogen in the news, Investment Milestones released, stock portfolio news
24-May-2021 $ EMN Releases Operations Update as Global Manganese Supply Tightens
27-Apr-2021 $ 0.590 Our Portfolio Performance from January 1st to March 31st 2021
25-Mar-2021 $ Our Battery Metals Pick EMN Announces Game Changing New Investor
23-Mar-2021 $ 0.680 TRIPLE DOWN ALERT - Plus 6 Hot Stocks
16-Mar-2021 $ 4 Key Takeaways from VW’s Power Day
16-Mar-2021 $ 0.645 Power Day Launches Volkswagen’s EU Electric Vehicle Future
12-Mar-2021 $ In 72 hours Volkswagen will make an Electric Announcement
05-Mar-2021 $ 0.470 Our Top Two Stocks to Cop a Post-Drop Price Pop
23-Feb-2021 $ 0.650 EMN Joins an Exclusive Club: EIT InnoEnergy has Entered the Game
23-Feb-2021 $ EMN receives support from EU backed organisation to accelerate development
18-Jan-2021 $ 0.765 EMN Reached an Important Milestone on Friday
12-Jan-2021 $ 0.555 What we are Watching Over the Next 48 Hours
07-Jan-2021 $ 0.505 Our Stock Picks for 2021
18-Dec-2020 $ 0.415 New EU Regulations to Drive our Second Biggest Holding - EMN
11-Dec-2020 $ 0.460 EU Climate Policy - Battery Materials Supply Regulations Leaked?
13-Nov-2020 $ 0.255 EMN to Ride Global Battery Metals Surge
07-Oct-2020 $ EMN Developing Battery Grade Manganese Supply
23-Sep-2020 $ 0.140 Tesla’s Elon Musk Makes Manganese a Priority: Could EMN Be Front and Centre of EU Supply Chain
04-Sep-2020 $ 0.062 Introducing Our Next EU Battery Metals Portfolio Investment – Our Previous Pick is Up 311%

Where to catch the next EMN conference call


Feb 01, 2023


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Shares Held: 1,490,000

Options Held: 0

Trust Centre

Where to catch the EMN conference call

Our battery materials Investment, Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN), will be hosting its quarterly conference call on Tuesday 14 February at 9:00am AEDT.

We’ll be listening closely to CEO Matthew James as he provides an update on EMN’s progress after a strong start to Q1 which saw the company sign its first offtake term sheet.

That deal was with Verkor - a French battery manufacturing company which is preparing to build out gigafactory capacity in Dunkirk.

The gigafactory is a big part of France’s ambition to be a part of the global battery supply chain and we were pleased to see EMN make further inroads into making its Czech Republic high purity manganese project an important long-term part of the European EV market.

Topics we are particularly interested in hearing more about in this call include:

  • Progress on project financing
  • More on the demonstration plant and delivery of samples to potential customers
  • The North American Scoping Study - which could be a key plank of EMN’s business down the track following the passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
  • Permitting for the project

The link to the conference call can be found here:


Euro Manganese submits ESIA + Sustainability report


Jan 06, 2023


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Shares Held: 1,490,000

Options Held: 0

Trust Centre

Yesterday, our long term European battery metals Investment, Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN), submitted its final Environmental & Social Impact Assessment to the Ministry of Environment in the Czech Republic.

We see this as an important part of EMN’s stakeholder relations in the Czech Republic - and EMN flagged that the ESIA is the main step in the Project’s environmental permitting process.

The approval process is expected to take six months.

EMN also published its inaugural Sustainability Report - which is an easy to digest report on the multiple benefits EMN’s project brings to the table, both to the municipalities of Chvaletice and Trnávka, the broader Czech Republic and Europe.

Once again, EMN is sticking to timelines as laid out in the latest presentation:

What’s next for EMN?

We’re looking forward to an update on the first demonstration plant shipments being sent to customers, a potential offtake, the appointment of an EPCM contractor, and the completion of the North American project Scoping Study.

All of this is expected in Q1 this year - meaning a busy quarter ahead for EMN.

Euro Manganese releases quarterly, with cash balance update


Dec 19, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Shares Held: 1,490,000

Options Held: 0

Trust Centre

Our European battery metals Investment, Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) released its quarterly reports today, which summarised its significant progress to date.

EMN is developing a High Purity Manganese project in the European Union (Czech Republic) through the recycling of a tailings resource - and we’re pleased with this quarter’s progress.

We’re hoping EMN can seal an offtake and secure financing for the project in the coming year.

Our key highlights from the quarterly include:

  • Commissioning of Demonstration Plant underway, samples expected in Q1 2023 - this was a big one for us as we believe it will be an important precursor to an offtake agreement - read all about the importance of the Demonstration Plant here.
  • Cash balance of CAD$21.6M ($23.6M) at 30 September 2022 - this should fund operation of the Demonstration Plant for a year, more land acquisitions, potentially some future construction of infrastructure and facilities for EMN’s project and the progress of the Company's North American strategy - a key pillar of EMN’s appeal after the Inflation Reduction Act laid out incentives for domestic production of battery materials.
  • EPCM tender process - to get the project going, EMN needs to put out a tender for construction of the commercial processing plant. EMN is looking at bids from “five tier 1 EPCM firms” and expects the tender to be awarded in Q1 2023
  • Life Cycle Assessments - EMN’s High Purity Manganese project has been shown to not only improve the environment by remediating a tailings deposit - it has a carbon footprint of roughly one-third of the China-based incumbent industry (China makes 95% of the world’s High Purity Manganese). A win for both the environment and EMN’s ESG credentials.
  • Appointment of VP Commercial - another McKinsey alumni joins EMN, Dr. James Fraser. Given Dr. Fraser’s background in the automotive industry, geoscience, mining and consulting - we expect his commercial acumen to be very valuable to EMN, particularly around offtake negotiations. A big win for EMN.
  • Delivery of DFS - EMN delivered a DFS this quarter which we covered in August. It outlined an after-tax Net Present Value (NPV) that sits at US$1.34B ($1.92B) and US$757.3M (~$1.1B) with an internal rate of return of 21.9% and a 4.1 year pay back period. We think these numbers will be good enough for EMN to go out and secure project financing from a range of stakeholders with a mix of debt and equity.

All up, this was a good quarterly from EMN and we think there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming year from EMN.

The company is looking to not only shore up domestic European supply of High Purity Manganese, but also make inroads into what could be a lucrative North American battery metals market.

For those interested, you can also catch the EMN quarterly update call tomorrow at 9AM AEDT:


We’ll be listening in on that - it should be a good update ahead of a busy year for EMN in 2023.

EMN’s battery-grade manganese has lowest carbon footprint


Dec 08, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Shares Held: 1,490,000

Options Held: 0

Trust Centre

Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) today announced a comparative Life Cycle Assessment has confirmed that high-purity manganese products from EMN's Chvaletice Project (CMP) in the Czech Republic have a significantly lower carbon footprint than the incumbent industry in China — where 95% of global high-purity manganese products are currently processed.

EMN reported that the global warming potential of its high-purity electrolytic manganese metal, using 100% renewable power, is 64% lower than that produced by the incumbent industry (largely in China).

Also, EMN’s high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate has a carbon footprint 59% lower than that produced in China.

The study found that global warming potential of EMNs products were also lower than other manganese projects that have recently published Life Cycle Assessment results.

Further, when benchmarked against the carbon footprint of the other battery cathode metals — nickel and cobalt — manganese from Chvaletice also compares very favourably.

As manganese is the most affordable and green battery metal, this supports the move to high-manganese cathode chemistries.

We covered EMN, which is one of our best performing Investments of the last two years, in a longer note yesterday that you can read here: EMN Update - We Have a Demo Plant. Now for Offtake Deals

In that note we looked at the interest that EMN is attracting from potential offtake partners across the electric vehicle battery value chain.

To meet their lower carbon emissions targets, auto makers are increasingly using strategic procurement of materials, so we expect the Life Cycle Assessment results reported today to assist in progressing offtake discussions.

EMN also announced that it will be hosting two separate fourth quarter and year-end 2022 conference calls — one for listeners in North America and Europe and one Australian audiences as follows:

CALL #1 – For North American and UK/European Audiences

CALL #2 – For Australian Audiences

The content of both calls will be the same with President & CEO Matt James and CFO Martina Blahova to provide an update on the Chvaletice Project and its upcoming milestones. They will also discuss the company’s North American strategy.

Demonstration plant to start producing offtake samples


Nov 11, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022
Objective 1 : Construction of the Demonstration Plant
Objective 4 : First Offtake Partner
Objective 2 : Early Progress on Project Financing

This morning our European battery metals Investment Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN) started commissioning its manganese demo plant.

We’ve been waiting for this, as we think it could be key to accelerating competitive tension around EMN’s high-purity manganese products.

EMN confirmed that the bulk of the installation works had been completed and as part of commissioning the plant testing had commenced.

Below is a screenshot from a video that shows the plant being installed in place. The ASX announcement also had a bunch of photos that help understand what EMN has put together.

The installation and start up of the demonstration plant is key objective #1 of our EMN Investment Memo because we believe it was a crucial precursor for the company to be able to market its product to potential offtake partners.

Interestingly, in today’s announcement, EMN confirmed that it was now in discussions with no less than 12 different companies (including automotive OEMs, EV battery and cathode manufacturers, and speciality alloy manufacturers) with respect to samples.

EMN also confirmed that due to strong demand for its high-purity manganese product samples its pilot plant in China was turned on for a second time and that samples were now ready to be shipped from that site to potential customers.

Whilst today’s news was specifically about the demo plant, we think it has repercussions for three of the four key objectives we set for EMN as part of our Investment Memo.

To see those objectives in detail, the reasons why we are Invested in EMN and the key risks to our Investment thesis, click on the image below.

MoU for long-term carbon-free renewable energy


Sep 27, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Our European battery metals Investment Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN) has taken steps to secure long-term supply of carbon-free renewable energy for its Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic.

EMN today announced that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Statkraft, a Norwegian state-owned company and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.

The MoU — which EMN intends to progress towards a definitive, long-term power purchase agreement — is the result of the company’s work over the past year to establish long-term power pricing forecasts and secure long term, economically viable, green energy for its project.

It lays the foundation for Statkraft to support the net-zero ambitions for EMN’s proposed processing plant to provide carbon-free power to the project.

EMN expects power supply to commence between 2026 and 2027, in line with current estimates around constructing and commissioning the project.

So while EMN is still some way off from potential production, agreements such as this are important in demonstrating the company’s commitment to a zero carbon operation.

EMN recently released its Life Cycle Assessment results, which confirmed the environmental credentials of the proposed manganese project. The LCA highlighted the net benefit of sourcing carbon-free power sources which alone would cut the project’s net global warming potential by half.

We see this as an important part of EMN’s work to position itself as Europe’s premier ESG friendly high purity manganese supplier.

What’s next for EMN? We’re looking forward to future updates on product qualification initiatives following the commissioning of the Demonstration Plant in the Czech Republic. The two modules of the Demonstration Plant finally made it to EMN’s site earlier in the month.

Critical minerals quickly becoming a priority in the EU

Sep 20, 2022

Macro: Commodities

Readers who follow our Investment Portfolios will know that we have been making strategic Investments in commodities that have made critical minerals lists for the EU, USA, Japan, India and Australia.

These minerals are considered critical to the digitisation and decarbonisation macro thematic and include lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel and PGE’s, to name a few.

Over the weekend, the following speech from the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave a speech announcing that the EU would look to pass a “European Critical Minerals Act”.

The aim is to avoid the position Europe finds itself in with oil and gas, where it relies on a single trading partner like Russia.

The act would see the EU put in place:

  1. Agreements with partners like Chile, New Zealand, Mexico, India and Australia for the supply of critical minerals.
  2. Identification of strategic projects across all along the supply chain from mine sites to processing/refining projects.
  3. The act would also see the setting up of strategic reserves of these critical minerals.

All of this bodes well for our Investments across commodities identified as “critical minerals” giving these projects strategic importance on the world stage.

To see a list of all the critical minerals in the Australian Critical Minerals strategy document, check out the following link.

Here is a snippet from that speech:

Last tranche of investment from EIT Energy is in


Sep 02, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Earlier this week our European battery metals Investment Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN) received the third and final investment tranche from EIT InnoEnergy of €62.5K ($91.7K).

EMN will now issue an additional 237,077 shares to EIT InnoEnergy at a share price of CAD 34 cents (AU$0.38).

EMN said that the issuance of the 237,077 Shares is not expected to occur until early January 2023, with a four month and one day statutory hold (escrow) period from the day they are issued.

EIT InnoEnergy was founded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and is the largest accelerator of sustainable energies in Europe.

This is the same EU backed group that invested in Vulcan Energy Resources at 51c in May of 2020.

Read our full rundown on EIT InnoEnergy’s initial investment in EMN.

What’s next for EMN?

We’re hoping that the arrival of the demonstration plant’s modules in the Czech Republic will happen imminently.

Congestion and strikes at the Port of Hamburg delayed the arrival and unloading of the demonstration plant shipments, but those strikes look to be easing.

Key takeaways from Quarterly


Aug 15, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022
Objective 1 : Construction of the Demonstration Plant
Objective 4 : First Offtake Partner
Milestone 1 : Receive final shipment of Demonstration Plant Parts (July 2022)
Milestone 2 : Commission Demonstration Plant (September 2022)
Milestone 1 : First offtake partner (Q3 2022?)

Here are our key takeaways from today’s Q3 results announcement…

Update on demonstration plant commissioning: One of the two shipments of thedemonstration plant modules was unloaded in early August. The second shipment is scheduled to be unloaded later this month.

Update on product qualification: While it was a small detail buried towards the bottom of the Management Discussion and Analysis document, it turns out that the pilot plant has been restarted, and it produced approximately 37kg of HPEMM and 151kg of HPMSM.

We suspected this was the case in our EMN DFS note, and hope that this production run can further product qualification and related offtake discussions.

EMN flagged that 55% of the demonstration plant’s planned first year production has been allocated to a range of players in the battery supply chain. Remembering that EMN is not a mining company and is rather a recycling and processing company, a key challenge is to scale up product qualification efforts via the larger volumes of high purity manganese that the demonstration plant can produce.

Update on offtake discussions: In addition to the five MOUs that EMN has with consumers of high-purity manganese products, EMN noted that it was actively talking to several other parties including battery, chemical and automobile manufacturers, with the intent to enter into offtake contracts. We see this as indicative of EMN’s ability to build competitive tension around offtake discussions to secure the best deal.

We expect high purity manganese products like EMN’s to garner increasingly higher prices as demand from new EV battery chemistries collides with a processing supply chain bottleneck and a dual focussed demand for ESG friendly, domestic production in Europe.

What’s next for EMN? EMN is advancing on multiple fronts and the next major milestone for the company could be an offtake agreement, further progress on project financing, or the commissioning of the demonstration plant pending arrival of the two modules.

You can catch a video of the warehouse where the commercial demonstration plant will live on the EMN website.

Detailed quarterly; healthy cash balance


Aug 15, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

There’s certainly plenty of detail in the latest Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) quarterly releases and our European high purity manganese Investment didn’t disappoint.

The headline number from the three EMN announcements today was its healthy cash balance of CAD$28M ($30.8M) which was in line with our expectations.

EMN did flag that to advance a range of project development initiatives it may have to raise capital further down the track - but we don’t see that as an immediate concern.

In fact, the cash balance enables EMN to begin the process of preparing an Engineering,

Procurement, Construction Management (EPCM) tender package for the next stage of development for its project. This tender is due to be released next month and it should be awarded in the first few months of next year.

In our most recent note on EMN’s positive Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), we highlighted how we think EMN’s healthy cash balance should allow it to enter potential offtake negotiations with a strong hand.

Where to catch EMN quarterly management call


Aug 15, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

Below you can find the link to the webcast of the quarterly EMN management call tomorrow:


We’ll be listening in to hear what CEO Matthew James and CFO Martia Blahova have to say.

It starts Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 8.30 am AEST (tomorrow).

Noosa Mining Investor Conference round-up

Jul 22, 2022

Macro: Commodities

Spanning three days on the pristine Sunshine Coast of Queensland, the Noosa Mining Investor Conference kicked off its 12th year on Wednesday. Attracting a diverse and large spread of corporates, brokers, retail and institutional investors, this year’s event featured over 60 companies presenting and over 1,000 people in attendance, all hosted within the coastal town's Peppers Resort.

At the event, we caught up with a number of executives from our Investment companies (including AKN, AOU, BPM and PFE) as well as companies of interest, either as potential additions to one of our Portfolios, or to gain expert insight to macro and regional headwinds impacting the markets.

The conference is held in the ideal location to mix work with pleasure, and meet a host of CEOs of ASX juniors. Each day ends with a short ‘business at the bar’ session that quickly morphs into talking tactics about where to eat and drink. On Thursday and Friday nights, many head to the Noosa Surf Club for its networking sessions, enjoying its glassed indoor area and open deck to the beach.

We look forward to providing updates on companies we met with down the road.

Euro Manganese Joins the Global Battery Alliance


Jul 20, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN IM-2022

In anticipation of supplying high-purity manganese to European battery manufacturers, our European battery metals Investment, Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN), has joined the Global Battery Alliance.

The Global Battery Alliance is a public-private partnership which brings together more than 100 businesses, governments, academics, industry actors, international and non-governmental organisations to promote a sustainable battery supply chain.

EMN has some unique advantages which recently appointed CEO Matthew James outlined in today’s announcement:

  • EMN is the only sizeable European manganese resource
  • Fully traceable
  • Low carbon footprint
  • Waste-to-value recycling and remediation (i.e EMN is going to use tailings to produce the high purity manganese which has additional environmental benefits)

What’s next for EMN? Today’s announcement said that a Life Cycle Assessment is due to be released shortly, and we expect this to be positive in terms of improving EMN’s sustainability bona fides.

China considering US$1.1 trillion infrastructure stimulus

Jul 15, 2022

Macro: Commodities

China plans to make up to US$1.1 trillion in financing available for infrastructure spending, which we think will increase commodity demand. Read the following Bloomberg article for details.

Read the full article here.

Below are our key takeaways:

  • China is making 7.2 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in funds available for infrastructure spending.
  • According to Citigroup, infrastructure investment in 2022 is likely to rise by 7.7% versus 2021.
  • President Xi Jinping has called for an “all out” effort to increase infrastructure spending this year to fuel economic growth and meet a GDP growth target of around 5.5%.

The Bloomberg article touches on the impacts of China’s COVID induced lockdowns on the domestic economy.

With economic growth tipped to slow, the Chinese government is getting ready to lean on fiscal stimulus through infrastructure investment to spur economic growth.

We think this type of fiscal stimulus is likely to become a common theme in China and the West, with macro themes like decarbonisation requiring massive CAPEX.

This infrastructure spending forms part of our “commodities supercycle” investment thesis, where we see increased fiscal stimulus and CAPEX investment spurring higher demand for commodities already facing supply shortages.

China considering US$220Bn in infrastructure stimulus

Jul 08, 2022

Macro: Commodities

The following Bloomberg article highlights China’s plan to spend up to US$220 billion to spur economic growth through infrastructure spending.

All of this new infrastructure will require more commodities.

Read the full article here.

Below are our key takeaways:

  • China’s Ministry of Finance is considering US$220 billion of infrastructure funding aimed at shoring up the country’s beleaguered economy.

  • The funding is to be brought forward from next year’s quota, marking the first time the issuance has been brought forward due to concerns around the dire state of the world’s second largest economy.

  • The funding would primarily be used on infrastructure spending to boost an economy hit by Covid lockdowns and a housing downturn.

  • Commodities rallied in European trading hours following the news, with copper moving 3.6% higher on the London Metal Exchange.

For over two years, we have been writing about an upcoming commodities supercycle brought about by infrastructure spending, following decades of underinvestment in the “real economy”.

All this investment in the “real economy” requires raw materials, which is why we think the macro backdrop for commodities over the next decade is strong.

The Bloomberg article highlights the readiness of the Chinese government to lean on fiscal stimulus to spur economic growth at a time when the Chinese economy is slowing down.

Generally, governments would try to respond to slowdowns in economic growth by cutting interest rates. With this tool exhausted after the COVID pandemic, we think infrastructure spending will become the new policy of choice for governments worldwide.

Again, this infrastructure spending will increase demand for commodities which we expect will take commodity prices higher.

VW CEO breaks down batteries and supply chain issues

Jul 08, 2022

Macro: Commodities

The following Bloomberg article showcases the moves major carmaker Volkswagen is making in the batteries industry.

Read the full article here.

Below are our key takeaways:

  • VW is pressing forward with investments along its battery supply chain, commencing construction at a new cell factory in Salzgitter, Germany, one of five facilities in Europe under the carmaker’s PowerCo subsidiary.
  • Salzgitter is home to VW’s main motor factory, and it is where the company last year opened an $80 million facility to research, develop and test EV batteries.
  • Roughly $2 billion will be invested in the new cell factory, where production is scheduled to begin in 2025.
  • VW expects its battery business to generate €20 billion in revenue by the end of this decade.
  • VW CEO Herbert Diess said, “We are invested in some startups and we are looking forward to a joint venture together with Bosch for the machine tools and equipment for those plants, so we’re really gearing up to become one of the bigger battery cell producers”.

The news is just another sign that downstream investment in battery supply chains is showing no signs of slowing down.

VW is one of the world's largest carmakers and is heavily investing in downstream production capacity. It expects this part of its business to generate over €20 billion in revenues by the end of the decade.

This is a situation where investment in midstream/downstream (manufacturing/battery industry) is far ahead of upstream investment (mining), this leads to the supply/demand imbalances for the raw materials required to produce batteries only becoming worse.

The imbalance comes from the timing of these mega projects. Building a downstream / midstream facility could take 1-4 years whereas it takes around 7 years on average to bring a new resource discovery into the production stage.

As a result, we think that raw materials prices will remain high for at least the next decade whilst the mining industry catches up to demand.

Stifel to advise EMN on project finance


Jun 28, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN 2022

Objective #4: Early Progress on Project Financing

It’s good to see our European battery metals Investment Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) getting its financing ducks in a row ahead of the commissioning of its Demonstration Plant.

EMN appointed US financial services company Stifel (market cap ~US$6B) as Project Finance Advisor for EMN’s Czech Republic high-purity manganese project.

Stifel is very experienced in the battery metals financing space, and is expected to help with moving EMN towards a final investment decision in 2023.

This appointment is good progress on Objective #4 from our EMN Investment Memo:

What’s next for EMN? Completion of the Feasibility Study for the Chvaletice Manganese Project is expected in the coming weeks. EMN has been in “quiet execution mode” for the first half of this year but we expect the second half of the year to be a busy period for EMN with plenty of news flow.

Demo plant modules en route to Europe


May 17, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN 2022

Objective: Construction of the Demonstration Plant

Our European battery metals Investment Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN) today confirmed that the second and final shipment of its demo plant modules had been completed out of China.

EMN confirmed that the delivery of the modules is expected in June/July of this year with assembly on site at its manganese project to commence as soon as the items arrive.

EMN also confirmed that commissioning is still on schedule for ~September and that the first delivery of samples to customers is expected in Q4 2022.

When we launched our 2022 EMN Investment Memo, we had initially expected that the demo plant would be up and running during Q2 of this year. We suspect that the lockdowns in China and all of the impacts the Russia/Ukraine conflict has had on logistics have contributed to the delays.

First samples from demo plant expected in Q4 2022


May 17, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN 2022

Objective: First offtake partner

Our European battery metals Investment Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN) has detailed an updated timeline for the commissioning of its demonstration plant for its high purity manganese project in the European Union (Czech Republic).

With all of the plant modules now en route to Europe, EMN confirmed that it expected the modules to arrive in June/July with commissioning of the plant expected in ~September.

Importantly, EMN also confirmed that it expects to be able to deliver the first samples from the demo plant in Q4 2022.

As part of our 2022 EMN Investment Memo, we set the securing of an offtake partner as key Objective #3 for what we wanted to see EMN achieve in 2022.

We think that the demo plant is likely to be a precursor for any major offtake deal, given that customers interested in securing long term manganese supply will want to see the product specifications EMN can produce.

With the shipment of first samples now due in Q4 2022, we are hoping to see some newsflow regarding offtake discussions towards the back end of this year.

Where to catch the EMN conference call tomorrow


May 16, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN 2022

General: Investor Conference

The EMN conference call is tomorrow (17/5/2022) at 8:30AM AEST, and the webcast can be found here:


We’re looking forward to an update from CEO Matt James and CFO Martina Blahova and hope to hear more about the timetable for a number of operational milestones, as Matt James puts his stamp on EMN.

New details emerge from Half Year Report


May 16, 2022


Investment Memo: EMN 2022

Objective #1: Construction of the Demonstration Plant

EMN’s half year report revealed that its demonstration plant should arrive in the Czech Republic in the coming weeks (both parts of it).

The Chinese made plant had to be shipped, as opposed to transported by rail, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Commissioning and first production is slated for September - you get some cool vision of what it looks like here, and here.

We’re glad to see EMN making progress on Objective #1 from our EMN Investment Memo (click the image below to see why we Invested in EMN):

To see all of the key objectives we want to see EMN achieve in 2022, why we continue to hold EMN in our portfolio and the key risks to our Investment thesis, check out our 2022 EMN Investment Memo here.

Director appointed, details of conference call


Apr 28, 2022


Our European battery metals Investment, Euro Manganese (ASX: EMN), appointed a well respected battery supply chain expert to its Board earlier this week.

Hanna Schweitz is Director of Battery Materials and Asset Development at WMC Energy and also held various roles at Boliden AB ($18.9B market cap), a large European metal producer and processor.

We’re also looking forward to the upcoming investor conference call which will be held on Tuesday 17 May. This call is open for any investor to listen in to.

In that call we hope to hear more from new CEO Matt James, particularly regarding EMN’s plans around its DFS and demonstration plant.

What’s next for EMN?

EMN has designed a Demonstration Plant to produce large-scale samples of High Purity Manganese products. Commissioning of the plant expected in Q2 2022.

EMN’s DFS will give us an updated look at EMN's project economics and assist with the financing process going into a final investment decision. We expect that to be delivered in the second half of 2022.

To see why we continue to hold EMN in our portfolio, what we want to see the company achieve in 2022 and the key risks to our investment thesis, check out our 2022 Investment Memo here.

Manganese on Tesla Menu?


Mar 25, 2022


Our European battery metals investment, Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN), could be a beneficiary of a Tesla battery chemistry pivot.

Elon Musk was quoted as saying at a recent Tesla event in Germany:

I think there’s an interesting potential for manganese.

Manganese is an essential ingredient in batteries for EVs and EMN is ideally located in the Czech Republic surrounded by European gigafactories in neighbouring countries that will crank out the batteries needed to electrify transport in Europe.

EMN’s project is specifically focussed on high purity manganese suitable for EV batteries.

The potential for higher manganese content in lithium-ion batteries has also been widely discussed in both academic and industry circles.

You can see a breakdown of the current performance of various battery chemistries that use manganese below:

Musk’s comments come at a time when VW has announced that its next battery cell factory will be located in Valencia, Spain. That follows its commitment last year to build out a strong European battery supply chain by investing in six gigafactories, including one in Eastern Europe yet to be announced.

We think 2022 promises to be an exciting year for EMN under new CEO Matthew James, with a number of key milestones to come.

James said in a recent interview that,

Historically the customers have been more focused on lithium, nickel and cobalt. There’s a sense now they’re turning their attention to manganese. The perception has been that there’s plenty of manganese, but where the bottle neck is in the high purity processing capacity.

EMN recently announced a deal with the local Czech government stakeholders as well, further adding to the legitimacy of their project.

What we’re looking for next is progress across our four key objectives for EMN in 2022 :

  • Objective #1: Construction of the Demonstration Plant
  • Objective #2: Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS)
  • Objective #3: First Offtake Partner
  • Objective #4: Early Progress on Project Financing

You can get a more complete high level summary of why we invested in EMN, key risks and our investment plan in our EMN Investment Memo.

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